2004 NEWS

2004 News > 10/24/04


By Tom Glavine, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

Mets ace Tom Glavine has some knowledge about pitching in the World Series. He also has some experience with the Curse of the Bambino and what it's like to root for the Red Sox come autumn. The former Cy Young winner posted a 4-3 mark with a 2.16 ERA in eight World Series starts for Atlanta, winning a pair of games in 1995 as the Braves won it all.

The veteran southpaw also grew up in Billerica, Mass., some 25 minutes from the Green Monster. He's not old enough to remember the '67 Series and what Bob Gibson did to the Sox, but he was coming into his own when the Big Red Machine extended Boston's run of postseason bad luck in '75. He was a professional ballplayer by the time the ball went through Bill Buckner's legs in '86, and still has some love for the team of his youth. As he did in the National League Division Series, Glavine will offer his thoughts and insights on the World Series to MLB.com.

I still obviously have a rooting interest in the Red Sox. They are the team I grew up watching, and I still have ties and roots in New England. From that standpoint, it will certainly be a very interesting and fun series to watch. I thought last night the end result was good. They had some momentum coming out of the Yankee series, and it was good to see them carry that into last night.

It was important for them to grab a lead because, No. 1, you always want to take a lead in a short series. It shortens what you have to do in terms of winning it. And they accomplished that by continuing to ride the momentum of the Yankees series, which I'm sure everyone in New England was concerned about. The players certainly dispelled that notion and with each win, more and more the closer they get toward dispelling the notion of a curse.

Everyone in New England is aware of it. As much as people get excited about the Red Sox, in the back of their minds, they're hoping they don't mess it up. That's the nature of being a fan in New England. And the players understand that. How strongly do the players buy into it, though? Not as much as the fans. But from a psychological standpoint, with each win, the better off you'll be.

In '86, I was coming off my third year in the minor leagues. I was at my parents' house [during the World Series], settling in for the offseason and at that point, I was still a huge Red Sox fan. I tended to pay more attention to the playoffs then than I do now, if I'm not playing in them. And it was the epitome of being a Red Sox fan.

There is so much frustration associated with being a Red Sox fan. You're constantly holding your breath, waiting for bad things to happen. And the World Series in '86 was the epitome of that. No one in New England will breathe a sigh of relief until the Sox catch that last out, if that indeed happens, regardless of what happens before then.

I think this is going to be a very competitive series, and I'm not sure you're going to see an 11-9 slugfest every game. Both teams are extremely talented, so it's possible. But both teams have better pitching than what we saw last night, so the series will probably settle down.

From the Cardinals' standpoint, you have to feel good about your ability to score runs, not that they shouldn't have felt that way. If they weren't the best offensive team in the National League this year, they were certainly in the top two or three. The confidence in scoring runs is high, and they did that last night, but they have to be able to get the pitching to take advantage of it.

They have the ability to calm down a little bit, though. Now they have to split, which is something we talked about in the earlier series. They have to put last night behind them, focus on tonight and then take care of their home field.

You know Tony La Russa is a great manager. When you hear people talk about great managers, his name and Bobby Cox's name are at the top of everybody's list. Tony is a very well-respected guy who is always prepared and knows what's going on in terms of matchups. I'm sure his players are confident in his preparation of what he's going to bring to the table. And when you have confidence in the manager, it gives you confidence on the field. I don't know what he'll be able to offer psychologically in terms of what Bobby would offer, but I know from a strategic standpoint, he's going to be prepared tonight.

And, they have to feel good about matching up offensively with the Sox. They have to be able to continue to do that. With Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez coming up, though, it will be interesting to see how their offense does against those guys.